Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Interview: Coby Bell Talks ‘Walker’, Captain James, Working with Jared Padalecki & More [EXCLUSIVE]

Coby Bell is a familiar face to so many. Whether you know him from Burn Notice, Third Watch, or his latest gig as the Texas Rangers’ Captain on The CW’s Walker, you know what an incredible actor he is.

We got a chance to talk to Bell about his role on Walker, his character’s future after the latest episode, and working with Jared Padalecki.

Editors note: this interview was edited for clarity.

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Nerds and Beyond: In [last night’s episode], we get to see a bit more of Larry’s background, like a bit of the story with his ex-wife. How did you like sort of peeling back those layers of him as a storyline?

Coby Bell: I loved it. I loved it. I didn’t know where the writers were going to go with his relationship with an ex-wife. And I didn’t know who was going to play my ex-wife and everything just worked out so nicely. Kearran Giovanni did such a great job. And I liked how the writers.. sort of left it open and they’re kind … showing that there’s still some love there. You kind of immediately understood what their relationship was like. They kind of like, talk smack back and forth to each other in a sort of a playful, loving way. And that’s all still there. All the way to where, you know to … talking about why they broke up in the first place and there was miscommunication there. I just love … I love leaving that open to see where that could go with them maybe starting to date again, or just being in each other’s lives again.

Nerds and Beyond: Do you hope that story continues throughout the season? Or at least further down the line?

Coby: I do. I do. I don’t know about this season. But yeah, I mean, hopefully this season but I think in the future that’s a more interesting story than him just out dating randos. I think the history between Larry and Kelly and Walker and his whole family… their son DJ and Walker’s kids are like cousins and I just think there’s a lot to explore there. A lot of history. And I think it would give the fans something to root for, like … are they going to get back together kind of thing.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW
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Nerds and Beyond: After the shooting, Larry seems to be evaluating more of his life and his life choices. Do you think the events of the shooting are going to stay with him for a while?

Coby: Absolutely. Yeah, I don’t see how it couldn’t, right? I think anytime something traumatic like that happens … I don’t know if he’s ever been shot before. He probably up to that point thought he was pretty invincible. It’s like he’s Captain and nothing’s gonna happen, you know? And then bam, there it is right on his front door. And I think it’s … he’s been surrounded by violence throughout his whole career and I think when it hit home with him, it really got him thinking, like, this is not the answer. This can’t always be the answer. So, you can you see … the guy that shoots him later on, in the episode, Larry’s begging Cordi not to shoot him. He’s like, you know, everyone just put your guns down. I think he’s not just talking to the two of them. I think he’s just sick of it all. He’s like talking to everyone. Put your damn guns down, stop. You know that there are other ways to solve problems.

Nerds and Beyond: Yes, and I think Larry touches on that too in the episode with the conversation about how he wants to be different and not just keep resorting to violence.

Coby: Yeah. I mean, I think he understands that the nature of law enforcement, and that officers are put in situations where they do have to pull the trigger. There are those legit situations, but there’s also times where they just, you know, shoot first and ask questions later, and he just wants to … he wants that to change desperately. I just … I think he would rather change the life of a criminal than end the life of a criminal.

Nerds and Beyond: So there seems to be a lack of trust in the beginning of the episode with Larry and Cordell, as Cordell becomes the interim captain, with Cordell later saying he knows he wasn’t the first choice. How do you think that relationship is going to continue to grow between them and what’s your favorite thing about their relationship?

Coby: There’s so much I love about their relationship and just working with Jared. I think Larry knows Cordell so well. And I think he knew him from when he was first a Ranger. And I think he kind of still has that in his mind, of you know, this is who Cordell is. Cordell is changing, and he’s having to prove that to Larry. But … Larry also knows like, look, this is the guy with the short fuse, and the loose cannon, and … my only choice to be the captain, but he wouldn’t be my first choice. And I think Cordell surprises him in the job that he does. And he surprises him in the fact that Cordell can admit [to] himself like, ‘Yeah, I know. I did my best, I did a good job, but this isn’t me. This isn’t what I want to do. You know, I can do my part. My part doesn’t necessarily have to be being in charge. But I can be a part of the change you’re trying to create.’ There’s just so many layers to Cordell And Larry’s relationship. I just I love all the scenes in between me and Jared are always so much fun. And we just have fun working together. He’s just such a good dude and I sort of have an admiration for the way that he not only approaches being an executive producer on the show, but also his approach to the character. You know, he kind of has like, [a] James Garner thing going on? Like, he’s the hero, he’s a badass, he’s all that, but also he allows himself to be the butt of the joke, and he allows himself to sort of be like the cornball that makes the dad jokes and I think it’s just a really, really cool approach to the character.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds and Beyond: I know you touched on it a little bit, how Cordell and Larry have known each other for forever. I know a lot of people have wanted to see those kind of flashbacks, so is that something that maybe you’d like to explore more of too?

Coby: Absolutely, yeah. Last season, we had that one episode where they kind of went off on a case together. There hasn’t been too many actual flashbacks other than like the night of Emily’s death. But yeah, I think that would be a really cool place to go to see … what they were like. Sort of five years ago, six years ago. [It would] actually [be] really cool. Because you know, right now, I think the audience first got to know Larry as the boss. He’s the boss. And then now we’re slowly getting to know him as a human being. And seeing his faults and his sense of humor … his personality. I think going back to before he was the boss … I think we’d be able to get a better picture of who they were as partners and buddies.

Nerds and Beyond: So we saw a bit of turmoil within Larry after Micki’s departure. And in this episode, it kind of touched on it a little bit too, but how do you think her leaving affected him? Do you think he blames himself a little bit for letting her go undercover which ultimately led to her leaving?

Coby: Yeah, I think there is some blame there. But you know, he can’t predict the future and he can only do what he thinks is right. But yeah, I definitely think he had a lot of hope from Micki. He thought that she had what it takes to sort of go all the way and maybe you know, take over for him. I think everybody has mixed feelings about her leaving and what happened. And you know… there was a line, that was left [out of] that last scene with Micki, Captain James, and Walker. After Micki walks out, there was a line that they left out, which I think is very good that they left it out. I think it played much better just with James and Walker just standing there in silence. But there was a line where Walker said, ‘Well, what do we do now?’ And James said something like, ‘Well, the phone’s gonna ring tomorrow, and we’re gonna answer. We’re pick up the phone and we’re gonna keep doing our jobs.’ So you got to move on. You’ve got to keep going. But the hurt and the pain is still there, for sure. On both levels. Also, all the cast … we’re missing Lindsey as well.

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Nerds and Beyond: Lastly, what can fans look forward to with Larry’s storyline as the rest of the season progresses?

Coby: I don’t know. I don’t know where it’s going. I never really asked. I always kind of like to let it unfold. Just like life does, you know? You don’t exactly know what’s going to happen. So that’s kind of where I am with that. I mean, if there’s room in the story this season, I would love to see a couple more scenes with Larry and Kelly, his ex-wife. Just to kind of build on that last scene between them, because I felt like it was leading somewhere. But like just, you know, this whole traumatic experience sort of rekindled something, so let’s see what happens.

Walker airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on The CW.

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